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Assignment

Reflection

This assignment ran from Jan 5 to Jan 27, 2016.

As we begin a new year, I find myself planning for the future while reflecting on the past, as many people do this time of year.

Reflection is a powerful and complex thing. If you look up the word in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, you’ll find nine definitions for it, some with multiple parts, helping to show just how layered the concept is. It can be an image reproduced in a mirror, a thought or idea that comes through careful meditation, or one of the many other definitions.

And as such, I’d like to hear from each of you in your caption: How does the reflection in your photo make you feel? What memory does it spark? What statement does it make? What were you thinking when you shot the frame?

Not only must your photo have a reflection in it, but your caption must also be reflective in some way. I’m not looking for lots of words—a simple sentence or two will do. What I want is for you to think about your caption and make it count. Don’t forget that the caption is another opportunity for viewers to connect with both the image and the photographer.

Curated by:

Monica C. Corcoran
Director, Your Shot
Assignment Status
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Published Feb 11, 2016.
Thank you for your contributions!

One More!

Posted jan 23, 2016

As I’ve been editing the photos, I’ve noticed some images do not have reflections in the frame. They may have a shadow or refraction, but not a reflection. I’ve also been reading the discussion board and have seen many of you agonizing over your last submission. And wishing for one more—well here you go, everyone will get one more submission! 

Don’t forget to be thoughtful in your caption. Tell us something meaningful. What does your own photo make you feel and think?

Perfect Distortion

Posted jan 19, 2016

I’ve always been fascinated by images that aren’t what they seem—photos that make you do a double take. Having a reflection in the frame is an easy way to do just that. Not only can a reflection add visual layers, sometimes it can provide greater depth and/or new meaning to your story.

A reflection is what you make of it—it all depends on your point of view. It can be mysterious and otherworldly on the one hand or completely straightforward on the other. Look at the submissions coming in, which ones stand out to you? Now imagine that same photo with the reflection taking up more or less of the frame.

How does slightly changing the composition affect how you feel about the photo?
Can you see what is causing the reflection? Does it matter?
Is it a perfect mirror image or slightly distorted?

These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself when trying to capture a reflection. Your decisions on when and how to include it, will greatly impact how the viewer feels and the emotions they are left with.

There are many interesting photos and stories being submitted. I really appreciate that you are taking the time to add meaning to your caption beyond the basics of who, what, when, where and why. And I love that you are reminding each other to follow the directions. Feel free to update your caption after you’ve submitted it, because it’s never too late to add more to your description!

Mirror, Mirror

Posted jan 5, 2016

What made you see that reflection in the moment? It’s easy to miss these magical mirrors, and you may be surprised how many you’ll see when you start looking for them. Reflections can appear in the most amazing places. Keep an eye out for shiny surfaces—you never know who or what might appear!

For example, I recently took a photo of my family at a baptism. Only after viewing the image on a larger screen did we realize there was a face reflected in the shiny wood upright piano. It made us think about a loved one who is no longer with us, one whose presence was deeply felt that day. The reflection itself made us reflect!

Monica C. Corcoran

Monica C. Corcoran

Director, Your Shot
Monica C. Corcoran is an award-winning photography producer with 20 years experience in visual storytelling. She is a director at National Geographic managing the Your Shot photo community.